Following the announcement by the Department of Education that all schools will share a grant of €1,700 + €34 per pupil, I’ve been asking primary school teachers and principals how they are going to spend their money. Well, to be honest, several primary school principals are asking me about how to spend their grant.
These principals are not tech-savvy people and many of them have little interest in ICT although they say they understand the benfits. Every single principal that I have met want to buy interactive whiteboards. The NCTE’s clear advice is not to do this. Rather they would prefer all classrooms to be kitted out with a laptop and projector.
Since 100% of principals and teachers that I have spoken with are planning on buying IWBs instead of the NCTE’s plan, I can assume a very large percentage of schools across the country will be doing the same. Since the grant will not be enough to kit out every classroom with an IWB, there are going to be schools half kitted out with boards and half kitted out with nothing.
I’m not sure that this is a positive thing but it does show that principals believe in the importance of IWBs in schools despite the NCTE’s best intentions to slowly incorporate them. Schools want them now and I think the NCTE should just give in and start listening.